Choosenick. Notes and observations on service design, as well as other interesting things/thinking. By Nick Marsh.

Archive of August 2009


Friday the 28th of August is my last day working at Engine. I've accepted a new job as a user experience consultant at Conchango, a large design agency with a strong digital focus that has recently been acquired by EMC, a global technology company. It's going to be very different to the 12 person team that is Engine.

I'm excited to be moving on, learning new skills, meeting new people and working on new projects - but of course I'm also sad to be leaving Engine, a truly remarkable design consultancy where I've done some great work with some really great people.

The practice we've built at Engine is, I believe, a rare combination of very thoughtful and very progressive - the projects are genuinely agenda setting in our small field, and I love the time we take at Engine to really think about what we're doing. The breadth and depth of (unfortunately mainly confidential) work undertaken has been fantastic for such a small studio.

I've taken the new role for many reasons, but I've principally chosen to make this move because I want to get further into the nitty gritty of how services are actually designed and delivered - much of my work in the past three years at Engine has been design-led strategy and planning for service organisations, and I'm excited to go and work with some of the best software engineers in the business to create some actual services. Strategies and plans are great fun, but I'm keen to get stuck in to some execution for a change.

I'm also really keen to see what happens when you connect a user experience practice, and in turn a user-centred consulting offer, onto a large management and IT consulting business that can deliver change at scale - as has just happened with the EMC acquisition.

Now that everyone has optimised, outsourced and reengineered their business processes to the n-th degree the future of value creation in services across the commercial and public sectors clearly lies in differentiating and designing great customer and user experiences - but its no good designing cool stuff that stays on the drawing board (or, more likely, in a powerpoint).

Consultancies that can integrate design-led, human-centred UX capabilities with world class engineering and execution at scale are going to be the ones who work on the projects that matter - and that deliver the service designs that make it to market, and start making a difference to people. At least, that's my theory, and hence a big part of why I've decided to take the job at Conchnago.

Despite the UX job title I plan to stay firmly involved in the service design community. I'm looking forward to saying hi to lots of new faces at Service Design Thinks next week and I'm going to use this move to try and reduce my instant gratification twittering and revive my more reflective service design blogging. Here's to the next!
August 27th, 2009 / Trackback / Comments

Nice presentation exploring the differences between UX, Service Design and Design Thinking. Good to see Engine's 5 fundamentals referenced throughout...
August 27th, 2009 / Trackback

Excellent Podcast on Digital Exclusion and the Implications for Service Design

Excellent Radio 4 podcast on digital exclusion and the rump (20% of UK) of non-digitals: (iTunes link). Lots of lovely stories, and some very big implications for people designing services - especially public services with a universal service mandate. Recommended.
August 17th, 2009 / Trackback / Comments

Lovely pdf outlining Thinkpublic's approach to service design
August 11th, 2009 / Trackback

picture-13.png Live|work have a nice new little animation that explains the benefits of service design on their homepage - check it out
August 7th, 2009 / Trackback / Comments